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Bradley Beal And the Infinite Sadness

By Stephen Douglas
Jan 28, 2021, 10:10 AM EST
Bradley Beal
Bradley Beal
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Bradley Beal scored 47 points in a Washington Wizards loss to the New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday. With the loss the Wizards dropped to 3-11 on the season, the worst record in the NBA. After the game Beal was asked if he was frustrated. His answer? "Is the sky blue?"

What we have here is some true sadness.

This is not normal in the NBA. Players of Beal's caliber have usually forced their way out of town by now. Beal could have walked, but he decided to try and make things work in Washington when he signed a two-year extension ahead of last season that will keep him in Washington through 2023. This was a mistake that becomes clearer every day. So now he must make a decision. Does he do take the Harden path and make the Wizards trade him? Or does he embrace the sadness and despair like he's living a grunge album, circa 1995?

The longer he goes without doing the normal unhappy NBA star thing, the more the 2020-2021 Washington Wizards' season sounds like a Smashing Pumpkins album. Let's call it Bradley Beal and the Infinite Sadness.

It would feature songs called "Washington Bullet With Butterfly Wings."

"1979," a song about the last year the Wizards were competitive.

"Thirty Three," the number of points Beal will end up averaging. He is currently having one of the ten best scoring seasons in NBA history. After putting up 47 on Wednesday night, Beal leads the league with 35.4 points per game. That was Kobe Bryant's career high scoring average. Last season when James Harden was averaging 38 a couple months into the season, I took a look at numbers this big in a historical context. It's basically just absurd. Even if he cools off as the season goes along, he'll probably end up with one of the 50 best individual scoring seasons ever.

"Tonight Tonight," a song about his misguided faith in the Wizards.

"Here is No Why, about the Russell Westbrook trade.

"F*** You (An Ode to No One)" a tribute to the entire organization that put this team together.

"Tales of a Scorched Earth," about an alternate timeline of what would happen if Beal did decide he had to get out of town.

"Zero," about the secret Gilbert Arenas' jersey retirement ceremony.

And finally, "Farewell and Goodnight."

See how perfectly fitting this album, released when Beal was just two-years-old, fits his current situation? Beal's career has been extraordinary. Blessed and cursed, but never won. He knew exactly where he was when he signed that deal. This infinite sadness is his.

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